The Closer: Finally, Some Power In Minnesota

Notes from a day in baseball:

1. The Island of Dr. Morneau. Justin Morneau became the first Twin to hit 30 homers since 1987 — jeez, haven't they heard of steroids in Minnesota? — to lead his team to a 4-3 win over the suddenly slumping Detroit Tigers. Morneau hit a go-ahead, two-run homer in the eighth. Gary Gaetti, Tom Brunansky and Kent Hrbek were the last Twins to hit 30 homers.

2. You Knew It Would Come To This. The Yankees are barreling toward the AL East finish line like an SUV full of loaded guns, hatchets and a compact disc of children's songs recorded by prison inmates, and even Randy Johnson and his 5.11 ERA are getting with the program. La Grande Unité thew six no-hit innings, and Bobby Abreu homered off of of Jon Garland (so long, eight-game winning streak) as New York defeated the Chicago White Sox 7-6. The Yankees are three games up on the second-place Red Sox.

3. A Royal Pain. If Manny Ramirez could manage to throw out a runner at the plate from short left, the Red Sox would not have taken another loss to the Royals — this one 5-4. But perhaps we're being too hard on Manny; we could not have made those two throws either. Or ... could we? Mike Sweeney's run-scoring single with two out in the ninth off of Jonathan Papelbon completed the two-run rally for the Royals.

4. Wearing Out Your Welcome. Mike Piazza blasted a couple of home runs — finally prompting New York fans to boo him — but it wasn't enough for the Padres. Pedro Martinez pitched the Mets to their fourth straight win, 4-3, at Shea Stadium.

5. The Return Of HR Huff 'N Stuff. Aubrey Huff took time out from being a character in a Charles Dickens novel to hit two home runs, with six RBI, as Houston routed Pittsburgh 14-1. Pitcher Roy Oswalt had his first career home run, as the Pirates allowed six homers in a game for the first time since 2002.